Christopher Kane’s Resort Collection is dedicated to the power of love. Singed with the sweet passing of his mother, and his propensity to fall in love, the love hearts that boomed their way throughout the line up were palpable. PVC coated midnight blue lace, at once waterproof from the tears of mourning a loved one yet fully engaged with connotations of desire, saw this collection attain sentiment, joy and seduction.
Large transparent pockets in sorbet shades tapped into a Care-A-Lot vibe, and also reminded one of Galliano’s debut Couture collection at MMM – where large transparent pockets spoke of the designer’s fresh start. The oversized pockets of mid 20th century designer Claire McCardell were also called to mind. Hers had come complete with lined plastic – so baby diapers could be stashed in stylish jackets. A mother’s love, hey? Look 34 of Christopher Kane’s recent Resort collection revived McCardell’s Popover dress – complete with attachable oven glove, as modeled in The New York Metropolitan Museum Archive and photographed by Louise Dahl Wolfe. Created in 1946, he Popover dress was the ultimate utility dress. Glamourous yet affordable, she could negotiate a hot tray out of the oven – and could still host in style. The notion being: “sure, pop over – I can totally drink a cocktail whilst cooking!” The wrap around element of a dress was a key component in McCardell’s wardrobe and just like the DVF powerhouse wrap – which was also inspired by McCardell – Kane carried on the code, albeit in a topsy-turvy manner, via a nipped and tucked volume.
Like Prada, Kane loves operating in that love to hate vernacular. Miuccia’s heavy handed ode to lace in the year of 2008, saw her work outside of her comfort zone. Despising lace, finding it loaded with too many cliche connotations of christenings, weddings and funerals, she struggled to see how this fabric could become edgy again. Needless to say, she triumphed. Sometimes a much more creative surprise awaits when you challenge yourself to see the beautiful in the benign. Kane, who is very much inspired by Prada, has made lace a signature part of his “so wrong, it’s right” canon – and it featured here again too. Meanwhile, his sickly sweet colour palette for Resort 2016 also reminded us of Prada’s recent tooth achingly sweet collection, in shades of Palma violet, toxic Melba and sugared pistachio.
Other sections within Resort 2016 saw Kane boost us with a power up, in the shape of centre stage emoji hearts on gloves and dresses. Elsewhere, sequin encrusted knee motifs added a whole new meaning to the idea of having “fallen in love.”
Operating out of the same vernacular, Elber Albaz took on the same love-to-hate design philosophy when he once took on the triteness of a love heart at Lanvin. Like Albaz, Kane knows that in order to give style credit to this squidgy bundle of love, one has to embrace it full force.
Back to Resort 2016 – and very much in love with the now – concertina cupcake side pleats fluttered here like art-deco angel wings. You could see Kane’s heart take flight.
Cover Image: Christopher Kane Resort 2016, Pop Over dress sketch by Claire McCardell, Popover dress photograph from 100 dresses: The Costume Institute, Harold Koda.